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Book of possessions of the town of Boston, ca. 1644-1652 [manuscript]

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Book of possessions of the town of Boston, ca. 1644-1652 [manuscript]


Published 1644
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Title from spine; also corroborated by references to this manuscript in various early records of the town of Boston

Date range derived from contents. William Henry Whitmore suggests a creation date of mid-1652

Published in: Records relating to the early history of Boston (Boston: Rockwell and Churchill, 1876-1909), vol. 2, p. 161

This document, a 154-page manuscript dating largely from ca. 1652 records land transactions and holdings of the residents of Boston. Entries contain the names of owners or parties to the transactions, the properties in question, and the dates of the transactions. The earliest transaction date referenced is 1644 and the latest is 1652. The first four pages are comprised of a manuscript index dated 1827 and signed by Samuel F. McLeary, City Clerk. An earlier index, possibly contemporaneous to the original text, is present on the last page. The final six pages contain later entries, running from back to front, that primarily describe transactions related to stray livestock. These entries are dated from 1675 to 1693 and are signed by various clerks. One of these later entries, appearing on the bottom of the page labeled 145, bears the name of Governor Joseph Leverett and attests to the sale of seven Native American slaves to Lancellot Talbott and Joseph Smith

Individual pages are encapsulated in polyester film and are housed in a cloth preservation binding. Each page is numbered in a hand that appears to be contemporaneous with the body of the manuscript. Pagination starts with page 3, suggesting that the first leaf (2 pages) may have been lost. An earlier, likely 19th-century binding of black morocco has been retained and is shelved together with this item

The external conservation of this volume was generously funded and inspired by David McCullough's Yale class of 1955 and the Associates of the Boston Public Library.


Year 1644
Pages 158
Language English
Call number MS Bos.2 FOLIO
Digitizing sponsor Boston Public Library
Book contributor Boston Public Library
Collection bostonpubliclibrary; americana

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